How will the child/ren cope with the new living arrangements?

What really matters is how children are parented, not the type of household they live in. If your grandchild still has a secure emotional base, encouragement, routine, protection and the support of a loving parent, his or her needs are probably being met.

Who’s the best person for a child to talk to?

A child might want to talk to you about what’s happening, especially if they’re younger. But you might also find that teenagers would benefit from talking to someone other than you. A confidential telephone counselling service for young people such as Kids Helpline (1800 551 800), can help or try the Kids Helpline website.

There’s also a kids section on the Court’s website that has more information.

What can I do to help?

  • Keep doing the activities that the child/ren likes to do together – for example, visiting the park, playing board games or phoning regularly to keep in touch.
  • Talking to the child/ren can help them to deal with difficult emotions and fears. When the child/ren are ready to talk, listening to their thoughts and feelings about the situation can help you work out how best to comfort them.
  • The child/ren doesn’t need to get involved in any issues between you and their parents. If you need to talk to someone, you could try talking to a friend or chat with others who are caring for children during separation or divorce.

Where can I call for advice?

The Australian Government provides funding to a wide range of agencies and services to provide assistance during family breakdown and when families are separating. The Family Relationship Advice Line is one of these services.

The Family Relationships Advice Line:

  • gives advice on parenting arrangements after separation
  • provides information about family dispute resolution including some financial dispute resolution
  • provides information about the family law system and interpretation of Acts and Rules
  • provides information on family relationship issues and impact of conflict on children
  • refers callers to Family Relationship Centres and other local services that can provide assistance, and
  • organises telephone dispute resolution for people unable to attend a family dispute resolution service.

The Advice Line also provides a legal advice line which is run by qualified lawyers who can assist with advice and forms. If a client requests legal advice their name and contact details will be taken and a lawyer will call them back.

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